Friday, March 11, 2005

Songs of Earth and Sky

I discovered Native American Flutes and Music in Blogger's list of recently discovered blogs, the first time I recall a non-MP3 music blog mentioned on this list. It looks very interesting, with some beautiful pictures and links to mp3's on Scott August's professional website.

When I lived in Fargo I became friends with some members of the White Earth nation in Minnesota. I went to one of their pow wows and took part in a grass dance. It was a fun experience, especially getting to see the pow wow from the native angle: I sat with the tribe members, and joined in one of the audience circles that gathered around the various drum circles as they performed. Native Americans, especially older ones, would hold up small tape recorders to capture the drum circle performances, which I was told was for both aesthetic enjoyment and religious use. I found the circles fascinating, especially the singing styles employed. The timbre was purposely very strained, some singers even grabbing their throats to create the proper sound. Hmm, I'll have to mention that in my lecture on singing today in Psychology of Music.

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